The general rule of thumb is und before week 12 = 48 weeks. Und after 12 but before 24 = 72.
I did this (72 weeks) a few years ago before it was a widely accepted treatment. The insurance company at that time, declared it experimental. Today, many more doctors realize the necessity of making sure we are truly cured and that our bodies immune system has had enough time to learn to fight the virus and keep it gone. More insurance companies are paying for the entire course of tx.
Since my insurance refused to pay I contacted Comittment to Care (I was on PegIntron) and they did cover all of the meds (the peg and riba) for absolutely free for me for the remainder of tx. The insurance company paid all the tests and doc visits.
So try and find out in advance if they will pay. Once they send you (if) a denial letter then you have what you need for the drug company to give you the meds.
If you are on pegasys you will need to contact their plan, pegassist and they will help you out.
Good luck. 72 weeks is the way to go to insure you never have to do this again. It worked for me.
What nygirl said. The 72 week therapy is pretty standard for a slow responder (yep, you're slow), so I find it hard to think that an insurance company would balk at this. Appeal it to the insurance (if you haven't already). An extra 24 weeks of tx is a lot cheaper than having to treat again, the cost of treating cirrhosis, or the cost of transplant.
So I thought I was half way done at week 24, but now it looks like another year combined with fighting with the insurance company. Depressing.
Can't look at it in terms of 72 wks because it can be overwhelming. And yes, it will depress you. I will be extending to 72 wks too. I look at it one week at time - each week that passes is another behind me so 32 wks behind me and don't even think about what's ahead. No crystal ball. You never know how your body will react and besides you've got to get through 48 wks first. Don't let it overwhelm you, keep it in perspective.
What Trinity said! You do it one shot at a time. It passes slowly, but it goes. I am at 68 weeks now. It is better to look at what you have accomplished and focus on what is at hand. The more distant future will take care of itself. Just gotta keep at it. My heart goes out to you. I know how you probably feel and sympathize greatly. Don't let depression take hold of you. Serious depression is a common side effect of TX and is a very common reason people fail on TX. I hope someone close to you is keeping an eye on you for these type of changes as they can occur in a way that you may not see or be able to deal with.
Music is something I use to take some refuge from the side effects and ailments. Find things you like or love and concentrate on them. Sounds trite, but it has helped me.
Best to you,
I also had to fight the insurance Com.Once you receive that denial letter, you can also write a letter to them yourself and send proof as to the reasoning behind tx for 72.It worked for me.I had been denied 4 times.